Tuesday, April 23, 2013

S is for Super Pac-Man

It's a bird...it's a plane...it's Super Pac-Man!  Other than the extremely odd side-scrolling Pac-Land, which was based on the old Pac-Man cartoon, Super Pac-Man was probably one of the stranger members of the early days of the Pac-Man video game hierarchy.

I encountered Super Pac-Man as a kid at the Scandia in Fairfield during the Pac-Man gaming heyday.  At this time, along one of the walls there was a Pac-Man, Ms. Pac-Man and Super Pac-Man machine all next to each other.  If memory serves, the former two were already occupied, so I tried out Super Pac-Man.

The gameplay of Super Pac-Man was different from the norm from the beginning.  Instead of the usual dots, you had various foods or objects (depending on what board you were on).  You had to eat keys to open up access to the foods/objects, energizers and super energizers.  And, if you ate one of the special green energizers, you briefly turned into Super Pac-Man, which was basically a giant version of Pac-Man which was capable of going through the unlockable barriers, "flying" over/through the ghosts, and able to zoom around the maze very fast with the use of the "super speed" button.

It was the latter capability that fascinated me as a kid.  The ghosts always seemed like these perpetual monsters that would eventually get you no matter what.  So, it was really cool for your Pac-Man to be huge and super fast, going right through the ghosts.

It was also hilarious to me that in Super Pac-Man you could go inside the central area where the ghosts regenerate.  In fact, I recall getting stuck in there a couple of times (and naturally dying) after zooming around too fast as Super Pac-Man and the super energizer wearing off.

Super Pac-Man wasn't a huge commercial success, but I liked it.  But then, I like quirky games.  What spin-offs of popular games have you played and liked, particularly ones which may not have been popular with the masses?

1 comment:

  1. I get confused with Super Pacman all the time. Maybe because I'm not really into driving that joystick through that maze of his. LOL But, this is one of the games I'd play, if I feel good about it. Double team effort!

    Sonnia J. Kemmer